February is the month for exploring the meaning of love. February 14, Valentine’s Day, has created a wonderful market for Hallmark cards, but it also has allowed us in the middle of winter doldrums to turn our thoughts to the meaning of love in our life. Winter’s cold invites warm thoughts.
I learned from a client in Crete that the Greeks have five definitive words for love: agape, meaning a friendly feeling for; erotas, suggesting a passionate, intense love between two people; pathos, meaning a compassionate, merciful love; filial, friendship without sexual feelings, a brotherly love; timi suggesting a respectful honorable love.
My client’s daughter translated the Greek question “Do you want to be my boy friend?” as literally meaning “Do you want to change for the better.” in English. I really liked that idea. When we explore the feeling of love, which is really a complex set of emotions, the bottom line is hopefully that we are better people as result of feeling love for someone else.
Astrology also has something to say about love that almost rivals the Greek language. In Rex E. Bills’ The Rulership Book love and lovers,conjugal love and affection, are indicated by Venus. Passionate love is found in Mars‘ expression. Brotherly love may be felt within Uranus’ realm. Compassionate or merciful love is found expressed in Neptune’s development. Universal love is given to Pluto to symbolize.
Valentine’s Day love is usually centered around what Venus might offer in the way of a committed relationship or as my young friend suggested, how to change for the better through love. So let us explore what Venus-type love looks like through the symbolism of the astrological elements.
Venus in a Fire Sign — Aries, Leo or Sagittarius –implies the need for warmth, closeness, excitement in your connections with others. You value the “flame of Love”, the combustible edge of response when that something indefinably special within gets touched by the Other. Love for a fire sign can be a vibrating, energetic experience. Yes, this is the need for fireworks or at least smoldering embers. “Come on baby, light my fire” is the theme song for a fiery Venus.
Venus in an Earth Sign –Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn–is sensual and physical. Here we connect with Other through our five senses. We may be affected by how the Other smells, how we are touched, the sound of the voice, and even the taste associated with a kiss. Of course, how the Other looks in the eye of the beholder is important. A Venus in an Earth Sign needs security in the connection. This is where the status and earning power of the Other may be important for an Earth Venus.
Venus in a Water Sign –Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces–must have feelings acknowledged. The issues for a Water Venus are to communicate on the emotional level, to acknowledge the feelings experience in an exchange, to plumb the depths of unspoken flow in the relationship. Obviously this can be an area of challenge where in some cultures emotional expression is not nurtured as positive responses. A Water Venus can despair of ever getting the deep core personal issues discussed in a relationship when there is no feeling tone in exchanges with the Other.
Venus in an Air Sign–Gemini, Libra,Aquarius–connects in a thinking, deliberate, considered manner. The need is for verbal connection, a lot of talk. An Air Sign Venus is very able to make an immediate connection which may appear very deep, but in reality may need the anchor of time and intimacy to forge a secure connection. Relationships are to be analyzed when Venus in in an Air Sign.
When clients talk of wanting to create intimate relationships in their lives, I suggest that they begin by thinking about what would they want cherished in the relationship. A Fire Venus might want aliveness and excitement; an Earth Venus might want steadiness and sensuality; a Water Venus might want tenderness and sensitivity; an Air Venus might want good conversation and intellectual banter. The point is to consider what it is you value in a relationship and then create that quality within yourself. Think of the process as a personal change within yourself inviting the relationship you want to receive.
Hopefully these thoughts will be food for your heart that you carry not only to Valentine’s Day but throughout the year.